New Novel in the Works

It’s been a long time since my last post.  And alas, a lot has changed in the world and in my mind. But I am working on a new novel and some of you had asked about it

Some of your favorite characters (and mine) are back, though 20 years have passed, and those changes I mentioned have affected them as well.

Broken China (the working title) takes place mostly in, well, China, but spreads across other countries, too.  Stay tuned for more developments. I’m keeping it fairly close for now.

International Readers



Hello Readers from around the world!

I was just looking at the activity on this website and realized that I have had viewers from 59 different countries, with the highest numbers (other than the the US) in Brazil, Italy, Philippines, Mexico, Portugal, India, Russia, France and Germany!

Come back soon!



So what are you saying?

It’s weird, I know. My book is available on Kindle– thanks to my dear friend and erstwhile editor, publicist, marketing strategist, and expert in all things “e-” (see why I need him)  who did all the formatting.  So why then do I have the link up titled Resisting the Kindle?   Well, I have some old friends and many new ones who read most everything that way. They love it!   They love having many books accessible at any time (they couldn’t take that many on the plane. train, or automobile etc). They like skipping from one book to another, or one chapter to another and that’s great, good, fine.  I don’t want to change a dyed-in-the-wool IT user to a Luddite, (or… honestly do I?) I just want those independents and voters in the swing states to consider the cons as well as the pros of not reading “‘real” books. 

In an excellent, very entertaining and prescient essay in the New York Times Book Review in 1984 (oooH) entitled   Is It O.K. To Be a Luddite ? , novelist, Thomas Pynchon, writes:

If there were such a genre as the Luddite novel, this one (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), warning of what can happen when technology, and those who practice it, get out of hand, would be the first and among the best.

So I guess, by that definition of a non-existent genre,  A Parliament of Monsters is a Luddite novel. Thus the idea of it as an e-book screams to me of selling out to those who would threaten the very existence of  real (notice I have dropped the quotation marks. I’m getting bolder!) books! I should be like Ned Lud in his infamous and legendary “smashing of the knitting frames” and make a concerted effort to throw to the ground every Kindle I see!  Of course, I wouldn’t do that to you, my friend.  Instead, I have that option for sale on this very website.  See? Making everyone happy is so much less exciting!

Poetry Page

I’ve published some of my poems on the new Poetry page. Check it out if you like!Most of these are older…the newer stuff is still  in notebooks. Will try to get them typed up.

Summer Reading

It’s too bad that “summer reading” is now something you have to do for school to keep all those people happy who think children should have a longer school year so they don’t lose their “edge” during a long “disruptive” break.  Since education is growing more and more into an assembly line based on “common core standards” (production qualifications) and “teaching to test”, Mark Garrison points out:

Thus, students are to be made “career and college ready” — that is, market ready, ready to be consumed. The act of their consumption by “business” or the “education” industry is redefined as “opportunity”.

For those who look at the world this way, humans are no different from natural resources… Humans also become, in this model, reduced to a conduit for the exchange of capital, as various monopolies hedge their bets on the “value added” at any point in the production/consumption process.

The new Common Core Standards also eliminate fictional literature and personal narrative in favor of non-fiction dealing with information and “facts”. The hope eventually being that student essays will be graded by computers searching for patterns.

I myself, am part of that “weak culture”, I guess, (so categorized by James Davison Hunter) that looks to the past rather the “vibrant future” ahead.

Summer reading was when school got out in May and the warm unstructured months stretched out endlessly before you.   You walked to the library and the assault on the senses upon entering was intoxicating.  There was the good old smell of books… paper, not new and crisp but comfortably established. This was because of the higher temperatures and humidity (think Midwest) than during the school year and the daunting number of stacks beckoned one in. Leafing through satisfying pages at the tables grounded you in possibilities.  There were summer posters, not educational, but well, “summery”.  Bugs, Flowers, Bees.  The peaceful quiet weighed heavily.  The best part was you didn’t have to be there.

I remember getting fiction books- mostly (I love to say it!) lowbrow Nancy Drew mysteries and later Rosamund de Jardin  romances (Toby Heydon and Marcy Rhodes), and of course the now elevated classics (I didn’t know the difference or care) like My Friend , Flicka , the Little House books, National Velvet etc.  There are so many I don’t remember.  But I know that as I left with my arms loaded, summer reading was one of the things I loved most. It soothed my childhood soul.


Writing vs. Reading

Well. one thing is for sure! Reading is a lot easier.